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Acne (Mukhadushika- Youvanpidika-Tarunyapidika)

शाल्मलीकण्डकागारपिटका: सरुजोघना: l
मेदोगर्भामुखेयूनांताभ्यांचमुखदूषिका ll

Causes of Acne

Acne is caused by different reasons. Major four reasons are listed below:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Excess oil secretion
  • Oil and dead skin cells getting clogged in hair follicles
  • Excess activity of androgen hormone

  • Menstruation
  • Corticosteroids
  • Pregnancy
  • Family History

Hair follicles are directly connected to oil producing glands.  Clogging of hair follicles with oil and other particles result in formation of acne. Stress, certain medications, carbohydrate rich diet etc. increase the risk of affection with acne.


Ayurveda says Acne is caused by reasons that vitiate Kapha and Vatadosha. The reasons are related with food habits, exposure to dust and wind, mental factors etc. 

Ayurvedic Reference of Acne-Mukhadushika

Symptoms of Acne

Signs and symptoms of acne vary in each individual. It is mainly expressed on face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulder region as these areas have more oil glands. Major manifestations include:

  • Whiteheads (Closed pores)
  • Blackheads (opened pores)
  • Small, red bumps which are tender – Papules
  • Papules with pus at their tips

  • Large and solid painful lumps beneath the skin surface – nodules
  • Painful and pus-filled lumps beneath the skin surface – cystic lesions
  • Raised red spots with a white center – Pimples.

Ayurveda says acne will be painful, hard, deep seated and also pus filled. 

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Allergist, Dr. Sahil Gupta

Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine & Surgery
Master’s in Health Administration


Accurate diagnosis of acne vulgaris can be followed by Nidan Panchak in Ayurveda.

Causative factors Acne (Mukhdushika) as per Ayurveda is called Nidan

Aahar (Food Habits)

  • Virudha Aahar (wrong food combinations such as fruits with milk, milk with fish, etc.),
  • Excessively spicy, salty & sour food, curd, and upvasa (fasting).

Manasik (Psychological)

  • Krodh (Anger), 
  • Stress etc.

Vihara (Physical Activities)

  • Ati Vyayam (Excessive Physical Exercise),
  • Ati Jagran (Sleeping Late at Night),
  • Daytime Sleep after lunch, 
  • Vegvidharana (Suppression of Nature Urges)

Vaya (Age)

  • At Young/ Teen Age.

Predominant Symptoms of Acne Vulgaris (Mukhdushika) as per Ayurveda are called Purvaroop

Purvroop in nidan panchak has its own significance because these are symptoms that are produced by the body before appearance of acne on face. These purvaroop symptoms behave as an alarm to patients and a very helpful diagnostic tool for an ayurvedic practitioner.  Acne Vulgaris if treated at this stage, is easily easily curable.

  • Sparshagyatvama (Loss of Touch Sensation)
  • Ati Sweda (Excess Sweat)
  • Asweda (No Sweat)
  • Vaivarnya (Discoloration of Skin)
  • Koth (Appearance of Rash)
  • Kandu (Itching)
  • Toda (Piercing Pain)

  • Shool (Pain),
  • Daah (Burning Sensation), 
  • Rukshta (Dryness), 
  • Asrijah Krishnta (Reddish Black Discoloration of Skin),
  • Kharata (Excess Roughness), 
  • Saptagata (Numbness).

Signs of Acne Vulgaris (Mukhdushika) as per Ayurveda is Roop

Roop in nidan panchak are the symptoms that are easily identified by an intuitive ayurvedic practitioner to get the accurate differential diagnosis.

  • Shalmali Kantakara (just like Thorn of Shalmali)
  • Shopha (Swelling)
  • Saruja (Pain)
  • Ghan (Hard and Thick) 
  • Medogarbhamukhi (Collection of Fatty Material inside Boil)

  • Daha (Burning Pain), 
  • Kandu (Itching), 
  • Vedana (Pain), 
  • Raktima (in Red colour).

Acne Vulgaris (Mukhdushika) method of examination by Ayurveda is Upshyay

To identify the disease whose manifestation isn’t clear, Upshyay can be used. Upshyay means various examination methods to reach proper diagnosis.

Acne Vulgaris (Mukhdushika) stages of formation of disease is Samprapti

शाल्मलीकण्टकप्रख्या: कफमारुतरक्तजा:।
माधवनिदानक्षुद्ररोग। ३३

Above Sloka explains that Shalmali Thorn (a plant) like eruption on face caused by Vitiliated Kapha (Life Force), Vata (Life Force) and Rakta (Blood) are known as Mukhdushika harm to the beauty of the face. This causes disruption of the face and often occurs at young age, hence called as Youvanpidika. Mukhdushika is explained under Kshudrarog in Ayurveda. 

Diet Management of Acne

Pathya (Do’s)

  • Take light food
  • Have lot of fruits and salads
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wash face frequently with warm water
  • Adequate sleep
  • Regular steaming of face till complete sweating
  • Daily exercise 
  • Eat astringent and bitter taste herbs to detoxify the body

Apathya (Don’ts)

  • Avoid non-vegetarian food especially egg
  • Avoid fried & oily food
  • Decrease use of black gram &pappad
  • Avoid mayonnaise
  • Avoid journey to places with excess dust
  • Reduce stress
  • Avoid touching on pimples
  • Avoid unnecessary make ups and greasy skin products
  • Avoid pollution and direct exposure to sunlight

Yoga and Pranayama for Acne

Following asanas (postures) will be beneficial in reducing causes and effects of acne:

  • Sukhasana
  • Uttanasana
  • Sasangasana
  • Vajrasana
  • Halasana
  • Bhujangasana

Pranayama is very beneficial to relieve stress, which is a leading reason for acne. It also helps to open up body channels and thus makes the skin to breathe properly. 

Ayurvedic Treatment for Acne

Ayurveda has effective treatment for acne focusing on removing the impurities from the root itself. It includes internal and external medicines as well as purification therapies.

Internal Medicines for Acne

  • AragwadadiKashaya
  • PadoladiKashaya
  • GugguluthiktakaKashaya
  • Nimbadikashya
  • Avipattychoorna
  • Brihatthriphalachoorna

  • Kaisoraguggulugulika
  • Thriphalaguggulugulika
  • Gandhakabhasma
  • Sankhabhasma
  • Patolasava
  • Nimbasava

External Medicine

  • Triphalachurna
  • Kumkumadilepa
  • Lodradichoorna

  • RaktaChandanachoorna
  • Eladichoorna

Purification Therapy

  • Lepana (Application of medicated paste)
  • Raktamoksa (Blood-letting) 
  • Nasya (Nasal administration of medicated liquids)

  • Vamana (Emesis)
  • Virechana (Purgation)

Single Herbs used in the management of Acne

  • RaktaChandana (Pterocarpussantalinus)
  • Nimba (Azadirchtaindica)
  • Lodra (Symplocosracemosa)

  • Vacha (Acoruscalamus)
  • Kumari (Aloe vera)

Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist


Question: What is acne?

Answer: Acne is the skin problem characterized by white heads, black heads or pimples due to clogging of hair follicles with oil and dead cells.

Question: What are the features of Acne?

Answer: Acne will be characterized in different forms. It may be painful or tender. The pores will be either closed or opened, pus filled etc.

Question: How Ayurveda cures Acne?

Answer: Ayurveda provides internal as well as external medicines to remove the discomfort caused by Acne from the base itself

Question: What is the scope of Ayurveda treatment in Acne?

Answer: Patient reached to an ayurvedic practitioner after trying more than 100+ herbal home remedies with a ray of hope in ayurveda, IAFA acne treatemnt is carefully prescribed based on the characteristics of each individual. Have a look at some of our remedies and the uniqueness of our prescriptions! Start IAFA treatment for acne vulgaris.

Question: How long does Acne last?

Answer: Untreated Acne may last for about 4/5years.

Question: Does Acne create complications?

Answer: Yes, if acne is not treated properly it can create compilations like permanent scar effect, anxiety, depression and reduced self-esteem.

Question: Does cystic acne cure by Ayurveda?

Answer: Yes, Ayurveda cures Cystic Acne with no recurrence of disease again.

Question: At what age teenage Acne stops?

Answer: Usually it stops in early 20s but tends to be worse in people with oily skin.

Question: Do Acne scars fade over time?

Answer: Yes,but some Acne scars can become permanent if untreated.

Question: Does Acne itch?

Answer: Itching is common in Acne.

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